MRM Franchise Feed: Jimboy’s Tacos Turns 65 and Dog Haus Commits to Virtual

Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine's Franchise Feed offers a glimpse at what's new in the restaurant franchise environment. 

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Jimboy's Celebrates 65 Years

With humble beginnings as a single beach food trailer, Jimboy’s Tacos,  the home of “The Original American Taco,” is celebrating its 65th anniversary by rebranding its restaurants to highlight the brand’s  history—while continuing to innovate what it means to create a unique taco experience today. Founded in 1954 by Jim “Jimboy” Knudson in Lake Tahoe, California. Knudson opened up his food trailer on King’s Beach, creating tacos with fresh, premium ingredients cooked in small batches. Jimboy’s Tacos is now operating in more than 40 locations across California and Nevada. The brand recently kicked off the rebrand, which puts a modern spin on a vintage metal trailer look that truly transports customers back to the brand’s first location in 1954. Each revamped Jimboy’s Tacos counter features a photo of the first food trailer, while a large red wall details the brand’s storied history next to a black and white photo of its legendary founder.


“We’re so excited to share this time capsule that celebrates how Jimboy’s Tacos began and narrates the path of how we’ve gotten where we are today,” said CEO Robert Andersen. “We’re putting a modern twist on that original experience the Rat Pack enjoyed when they ate their tacos, and injecting the history of this great brand back into the customer experience.” 

So far, nearly 20 Jimboys Tacos restaurants in the Greater Sacramento area have undergone the renovation or are in the process of reimaging, as well as four new Jimboy’s restaurants in Southern California and one new Jimboy’s in Lemmon Valley, Nevada. While menus differ slightly store-to-store, every Jimboy’s Tacos serves the Original Ground Beef Taco, featuring fresh premium ingredients in the restaurant’s signature grilled and crispy stone-ground corn shell dusted with parmesan cheese.

“Throughout our history, Jimboy’s has struck a perfect balance between celebrating ‘the good old days’ and challenging the status quo through innovation,” said Andersen. “Shining a spotlight on our history and values through this exciting rebrand is the best possible way to celebrate our milestone 65th anniversary.”

Dog Haus Goes Virtual

Dog Haus, top photo,  is jumping buns-first into the virtual kitchen trend through a systemwide partnership with Kitchen United. Dog Haus is the first brand to commit to the next 25 Kitchen United locations slated to open across the nation by the end of 2020, enabling the brand to nearly double its geographic footprint in this time.

“Kitchen United’s turnkey solution enables popular restaurant brands like Dog Haus to grow by serving today’s consumer, who increasingly wants to enjoy their favorite meal outside the four walls of the restaurant,” said Anthony Green, VP of National Sales for Kitchen United. “We are thrilled to have Dog Haus partner with us as we revolutionize the off-premise experience for restaurants and their guests.”

Dog Haus will open in May at Kitchen United’s Illinois kitchen center in Chicago’s vibrant River North neighborhood and will be the first of 25 shared locations opening in 10 markets, including Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Dog Haus currently has more than 30 brick-and-mortar locations nationwide and another 20-plus in development.

“We view our partnership with Kitchen United as not only an enormous growth opportunity for our brand, but as a way for us to stay on the cutting edge of the off-premise dining experience,” said Dog Haus Partner Hagop Giragossian. “We want to be a leader in the delivery space and believe that it’s important to embrace the changes happening in this part of our industry. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to bring our unique chef-driven menu to current and future Dog Haus fanatics in one fell swoop, while also paving the way for us to expand our franchising reach in each of these new markets beyond the virtual kitchen sites.”

Kitchen United assists in getting food quickly to the customer through delivery or pick-up, so that Dog Haus’ main focus can be on preparing its quality food. Everything is designed to enable Dog Haus, and other participating restaurants, to create exceptional experiences for their off-premise customers.

Kitchen United also provides substantial data that allows Dog Haus to optimize its offerings within key markets, creating tailored menus to satisfy the demand in each community. With strategically located off-premise sites, Dog Haus can expand its delivery capabilities and dominate the craft casual space, contributing to its aggressive expansion and success in 2019 and beyond.

“Food delivery and pickup is a growing portion of our business because who doesn’t love enjoying a killer hot dog in the comfort of their own home?” Giragossian said. “We are confident that the gold standard we’ve established for our hot dogs, sausages and burgers will connect with consumers in each of these new markets, just as it has in our existing communities. We’re all-in with Kitchen United, and we can’t wait to grow right along with them.”

Schlotzsky’s Transformation

As Schlotzsky’s restaurants transform to Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery® this year, the brand is celebrating its roots in true Austin style. Over the course of three months, the Schlotzsky’s brand is rolling out the rebrand in all restaurants around the nation.  Starting with Atlanta on April 27, the  restaurant will bring its hometown tagline, “Keep Austin Weird,” to life in markets across the country. The transition marks an exciting evolution of the brand and will feature new hand crafted food and beverage offerings, an eclectic, purposeful design and a unique dining experience. Select Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery locations will also carry craft beer and wine selections and feature happy hours throughout the week.


The first Schlotzsky’s restaurant opened in Austin, Texas in 1971, serving only one sandwich – The Original® – on baked fresh from scratch sourdough bread and served on a giant Frisbee. While the Schlotzsky’s brand has since expanded its menu and added over 370 locations across the U.S., the brand credits its “Wonderfully Weird” roots and Austin’s spirit of originality as the main inspirations behind its new look and feel.

“The concept is a natural evolution of the brand, tapping into our 47-year heritage while accommodating the ever-changing consumer,” says Schlotzsky’s President Kelly Roddy. “With the new Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery concept, we’ve combined elements from QSR, fast casual and casual to create a level of quality and guest experience that says, ‘We’re glad you’re here!’.”

To celebrate each market’s official transition, every Schlotzsky’s restaurant in the city will host a grand re-opening event complete with samples, BOGO offers and contests. Select locations will pay tribute to our baked fresh from scratch sourdough and host bread artist events featuring demonstrations, samples and more. 

Roy Rogers Adds to Team

Roy Rogers® Restaurants named Frank Cleveland Senior Manager of Information Technology. Based in the company’s Frederick, Maryland, headquarters, he reports to Executive Vice President Jeremy Biser and is responsible for directing all IT operations to meet internal and external customer requirements and developing new technical solutions to meet current and future needs for the brand.

Cleveland previously worked at Marriott International as a senior infrastructure analyst overseeing maintenance and evolution of systems. He also has provided IT support to small to mid-sized companies through PB Networking LLC, a proprietary business he launched in 2011. In his new role with Roy Rogers, he will support the chain’s operations, marketing and other teams and will be responsible for all corporate IT functions and brand technology. 

“We continue to invest in building a winning team and evolving the Roy Rogers brand,” said Biser. “Frank is a fantastic addition to our team and will be especially valuable in supporting initiatives such as upgrading our mobile app, testing new digital marketing strategies, enhancing our POS and back office systems, expanding online ordering, rolling out delivery and implementing a new video loss-prevention system. We’re excited to have him on-board to help ensure the success of these and future endeavors.”

Roy Rogers Restaurants celebrated its 50th anniversary with a yearlong campaign featuring baseball great Cal Ripken Jr. and a variety of thematic pricing and product promotions, charitable efforts and special events. The company is kicking off its second half century with a renewed franchise-expansion initiative supported by updates to its menu, marketing efforts, store design, vendor contracts, mobile capabilities and more. Qualified franchise investors are now being sought to develop the brand in markets throughout the MidAtlantic and Northeast. Roy Rogers  currently consists of 24 company-owned restaurants and 26 franchise restaurants in six states.

Coolgreens Adds VP of Franchise Development

Kathy Davidson has joined Coolgreens' leadership team as its new VP of Franchise Development. Davidson brings nearly 10 years of foodservice franchise development experience to the role, as well as a personal dedication to the Coolgreens mission of fueling local communities with fresh and natural food.

Davidson first fell in love with the food industry in 2010 after getting tapped by Church’s Chicken to recruit general managers on a short-term contract. At the conclusion of the contract, Church’s re-hired Davidson to its franchising department. After working for a couple of years bringing new franchisees into the Church’s system, Davidson switched gears into the startup world, helping Dallas-based Cowboy Chicken build its franchise system from a few corporate stores to a national presence. After a brief stint at Fazoli’s, Davidson was approached by Coolgreens.

“I was drawn to Coolgreens because of my own personal health goals,” said Davidson. “It’s a brand for people who want to eat healthy food and treat their bodies well. I’ve found exactly what I need here. I want to take the brand all over the U.S. so that people like me don’t have to sacrifice delicious taste for good health. For me, Coolgreens is more of a mission than a job.”

Davidson loved that Coolgreens is a young lifestyle eatery that is making its mark in the franchising world. “I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I work best in an environment that allows room for creativity and allows me to put myself fully into it—to fall in love. Coolgreens offers that opportunity,” she said.

Since launching franchising in 2017, Coolgreens has ramped up its growth goals considerably. With an initial investment of $296,732 to $482,600, Coolgreens is targeting entrepreneurial-minded business operators to grow the brand in key markets across the U.S. The brand recently signed in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area for the first time, and has kicked off construction on two upcoming restaurants in Waltham and Quincy, both of which will open in late summer. A third Boston location is currently in the works, as well as several new stores under construction in the Dallas market. 

“Kathy has a passion and energy for the Coolgreens mission that will translate to a transformative period of growth for this brand,” said Coolgreens CEO Robert Lee. “As Coolgreens gears up for this expansion, our main priority is doing so smartly, based on a wealth of experience, which Kathy is uniquely positioned to provide.”

Davidson has hit the ground running since her appointment. “I’ve put together a whole new vetting process,” said Davidson. “We’re setting up a multiple touchpoint strategy and are refining our approach to prospecting. Because I’ve worked with both small brands and big brands, I can strike a balance to propel Coolgreens to the forefront of franchising enterprises.”

Cult-Fave Ike's Going National

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, the San Francisco sandwich chain with a cult-like following, launched a  national franchise program to expand the concept across the country. The brand currently has 55+ units  in operation throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, along with locations opening soon in Texas.


Founded by Ike Shehadeh in 2007, the San Francisco-based concept grew to wide foodie acclaim with lines around the block and has become famous for its popular secret menu and pop culture inspired sandwich selections. Since its inception, the brand has garnered a dedicated and loyal following, offering customers over 700 different varieties of sandwiches to choose from, all of which include “Ike’s Dirty Secret Sauce,” a proprietary blend that is baked directly into the bread. Made with a choice of Dutch, French, San Francisco sourdough, whole wheat or gluten-free breads, unique sandwich combinations have included the “Menage a Trois” built with Halal chicken, barbecue and cheddar; the “Adam Richman,” created with fried chicken, ham and honey; and the vegetarian “Reading Rainbow” or “James and the Giant Peach.”

“The idea behind Ike’s Love & Sandwiches was simple – putting customers’ happiness first while celebrating their unique and individual tastes,” said Ike Shehadeh, founder of Ike’s Love & Sandwiches. “I feel truly humbled by the massive love and support Ike’s has received over the past 12 years, and now I’m excited to bring the brand into its next level of growth with the help of Fransmart. I’m extremely pleased to partner with such a reputable company to help deliver the Ike’s experience to customers across the country.”

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches has partnered with Fransmart, the industry leading franchise development company behind the explosive growth of brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries, The Halal Guys and Qdoba Mexican Grill, to expand the brand nationwide. Fransmart provides franchise support services such as franchise sales, navigating franchising compliances, and providing guidance on legalities, locations, supply chains, hiring staff, and operations – to name just a few.

“Sandwiches are the most pervasive food in America and one of the most saturated categories in the limited-service restaurant segment. In a sea of innumerable mediocre sandwich shops, Ike’s is a unique concept with a lot of heart and an unparalleled guest experience,” said Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart. “We are looking to find the right franchisees who will build a great team that can organically establish Ike’s as the deserved dominant sandwich brand in their market and share the unique Ike’s experience with their communities.”

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is currently seeking experienced multi-unit operators to join the growing brand and develop franchise territories in major markets across the country. The popular sandwich concept offers strong AUVs and ROI, a proven business model with low labor costs, and immense customer loyalty for their high-quality products.

I Heart Mac & Cheese Completes Sale of Corporate Store, Converting to Franchise Location

 I Heart Mac & Cheese, sold its corporate store in Patchogue, New York, as part of a multi-year New York City development deal.  A private entity will operate the Patchogue store as a franchise effective immediately and begin executing a plan to expand the I Heart Mac & Cheese brand into all five boroughs of New York City.


“Our first corporate owned restaurant in Patchogue opened in January of this year and has been performing incredibly well, creating a lot of buzz locally and generating a lot of attention from potential partners,” said Stephen Giordanella, I Heart Mac & Cheese, CEO and chairman.  “By aligning with this group in Patchogue and opening I Heart Mac & Cheese locations across the five boroughs, we are able to further our mission of bringing our one-of-a-kind concept to as many people as possible.”

I Heart Mac & Cheese is well-known for custom, build-your-own macaroni and cheese bowls, grilled cheese sandwiches and salads. Guests select a pasta, bread, or salad base along with seven different proteins, vegetables, and cheeses. Gluten-free options are also available.  In addition to customized options, the menu contains specialty chef items including Baked Chicken Parmesan, Baked Meatball Parmesan, The Cuban, Pepperoni Pizza, and Lobster & White Truffle Mac, among others. Side dishes include Cheesy Broccoli, Balsamic Tomatoes and Tomato Soup; desserts include Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, Marshmallow Treats and Caramel Cookies.

A unique franchise concept in the restaurant industry with no fryers, grease trap systems or hood systems, I Heart Mac & Cheese requires a low investment and can be opened in a small space, such as a mall kiosk or food court. Shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high-traffic pedestrian areas are also ideal locations.  With a home office in South Florida, I Heart Mac & Cheese offers franchise owner training, marketing support and ongoing development opportunities to ensure each location’s success. Just this month, I Heart Mac & Cheese was ranked by Entrepreneur Magazineas one of the top new franchise opportunities in 2019.

The first new I Heart Mac & Cheese location to open as part of this New York City development deal will come later this year in Lower Manhattan, near New York University.  Several other restaurants have recently been announced as well, with upcoming openings in other areas of New York State, as well as Florida and Georgia.

JUST Egg at Bareburger and Silver Diner

JUST has partnered with Bareburger, the leader in America's "better burger" category. The plant-based, protein-packed JUST Egg is the latest addition to Bareburger’s award-winning menu, reaching all 34 U.S. locations by the end of May.

bare burger just egg

JUST’s flavorful, filling patty is available all day in the “The Wake-Up Call” and is paired with a Beyond Meat quarter pounder, American cheese, mayo and “vrioche” bun. Breakfast customers can also order the “Get On Up,” which marries JUST Egg, American cheese, home fries, guacamole, black bean salsa, baby spinach and organic garlic aioli in a flour tortilla.

“We’re always on the lookout for innovative, sustainable but above all delicious foods like JUST Egg to enhance our offerings. Vegan options at Bareburger are never an afterthought; we strive to create forward thinking plant-based dishes without sacrificing flavor. Simply put, we always want to do what feels right for our company and our guests," said Euripides Pelekanos, CEO and co-founder of Bareburger.

“Bareburger is leading the way in creating the food system of the future – one that is sustainable, healthier and most importantly, insanely delicious. They represent the kind of restaurant that we founded this company to partner with and I’m excited to try Bareburger’s JUST Egg dishes next time I’m at one of their many locations,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of JUST.

Crafted by Michelin-starred chefs, JUST Egg is made from the 4,400-year-old mung bean and the baked patty version used by Bareburger has more protein than conventional chicken eggs. JUST Egg is free of cholesterol, saturated fat and artificial flavoring and its ingredients require less water and emit fewer carbon emissions than chicken eggs.

The company also partnered with the Mid- Atlantic restaurant chain Silver Diner to bring the plant-based, protein-packed JUST Egg to its menuSilver Diner’s savory “JUST Egg Benedict” rolled out Thursday, April 18 at all 15 locations in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. The dish pairs fluffy JUST Egg with baby spinach, roasted tomatoes, chopped tempeh and smoky mayo on toasted sourdough, smothered in a silky-smooth vegan cheese sauce.

JUST Egg’s inclusion on Silver Diner’s menu — first as a benedict and a substitution for conventional eggs in other dishes — is in line with the iconic establishment’s 30-year history of keeping ahead of industry trends and listening to customer input. It’s also part of a series of menu updates that include the addition of a dozen plant-based entrees with the potential for more JUST dishes to come.

“Silver Diner has always focused serving families delicious, high-quality food and offering choices that suit a range of diets and appetites, so we’re thrilled to be among the first restaurant chains in the Mid-Atlantic to add JUST Egg to the menu,” said Silver Diner Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst. “When I tried JUST Egg for the first time, I knew it was something special and I know that many of our 75,000 weekly customers will be eager to try it.”

“Growing up in Alabama, I have fond memories of family meals with my mother and brother at our favorite local diner and I’m sure longtime fans of Silver Diner feel the same. I’m proud that JUST Egg will become part of a breakfast tradition for families in the communities that Silver Diner serves,” said Josh Tetrick, co- founder and CEO of JUST.

Del Taco's Beyond Tacos

Del Taco Restaurants  announced the nationwide expansion of the company’s Beyond Tacos, offered in partnership with plant-based leader, Beyond Meat®. Beginning Thursday, April 25th, Del Taco will become the first national Mexican fast food chain to offer Beyond Meat’s 100% plant-based protein option at the company’s 580 restaurants across the country. 


“After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans during our tests in various parts of the country and across social media, we knew it was time to bring our Beyond Tacos to guests nationwide,” said John Cappasola, President and Chief Executive Officer of Del Taco.

“We saw a unique opportunity to develop our own recipe in partnership with Beyond Meat, adding various spices to create a signature Del Taco taste consumers can’t get anywhere else.”

Whether guests are vegan, vegetarian or looking to reduce their meat consumption, Del Taco fans can now try the company’s new Beyond Tacos,** which offer the same amount of protein and flavor as their seasoned beef tacos, but are made with 100 percent plant-based protein.

“We are excited to partner with Del Taco as they become the first national Mexican QSR to offer a plant-based meat option on-menu,” said Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat Founder & CEO. “Our plant-based crumbles offer the delicious taste, texture and satisfaction of ground beef, while offering the added health and sustainability benefits of plant-based meat. I personally love the Beyond Avocado Taco— it’s a great way to fuel up without feeling weighed down.”

In addition to the core Beyond Taco items, Beyond Meat is also being offered as a substitute for any protein in existing Del Taco menu items, such as burritos, nachos and fries. Del Taco’s two initial Beyond Meat menu items will include: 

  • Beyond Avocado Taco (vegan): Del Taco seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles, hand-sliced avocado, crisp lettuce and fresh diced tomatoes in a crunchy shell.
  • Beyond Taco (vegetarian): Del Taco seasoned Beyond Meat plant-based crumbles, hand-grated cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce and fresh diced tomatoes in a crunchy shell.

Tropical Smoothie Plans to Grow in Texas

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has aggressive franchise development plans for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and is currently seeking qualified entrepreneurs to open new restaurants throughout the market. CEO Charles Watson, along with his leadership team, will be hosting an informative event at the franchised Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Dallas-Fort Worth, located at 760 Airport Freeway, Suite 400, Hurst, TX on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:30 pm. The event will welcome interested prospects and offer a chance to learn more about franchising opportunities with the leading fast casual brand, which has achieved compounding success and substantial nationwide growth evidenced by, among other things, increasing average unit volume across the system, recognition amongst top industry awards and seven consecutive years of positive same-store sales growth.

“In the past year alone, our aggressive expansion throughout Texas has proven to be a success, most notably with the celebration of our 700th cafe opening, located right here in Hurst,” said Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC. “There are many opportunities for local entrepreneurs to build on the existing momentum in the local Dallas-Fort Worth market, and we’re looking forward to meeting with them in-person to talk about the tools and resources Tropical Smoothie Cafe is able to offer our franchisees that position them for success.”

The brand’s development priorities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are fueled by opportunities in the markets and the company’s continued demand for accelerated growth. Currently, franchisees operate nearly 50 Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations across the state of Texas, with 11 cafes open in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and another three expected to open in the market before the end of 2019. The Dallas-Fort Worth area offers a dynamic built-in customer base that enjoys an active and better-for-you lifestyle in flourishing local communities. In addition to Dallas-Fort Worth, the brand is continuing to aggressively develop throughout the state with franchise opportunities in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s food and smoothie franchise system experienced an impressive surge in nationwide expansion in 2018, celebrating the opening of 110 cafes, including its milestone 700th opening, and the signing of 191 franchise agreements. With over 730 locations open nationwide, the company is looking to add qualified franchisees to its growing brand and currently has franchise opportunities throughout the U.S. Interested candidates should have business experience, along with $125,000 in liquid assets and a minimum net worth of $350,000. Candidates that meet these preliminary qualifications will need to make an initial investment ranging between $222,095 and $569,335. The franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $681,000 – the highest in the company’s 21-year-history – with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $873,000.

JustSalad Teams with Grubhub

 Grubhub has an exclusive partnership with Just Salad, where diners can exclusively order delivery  wraps, avocado toast, and warm bowls from more than 30 owned-and-operated Just Salad locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

"Delivery is a strategically important and natural extension of our business. In looking across all platforms, we recognize Grubhub is the most restaurant-centric partner, and they've already helped us drive considerable order volume on the marketplace and in our Just Salad app," stated Stephen Swartz, Just Salad's director of marketing. "Adding in the technology and agency capabilities gained by Grubhub's acquisition of LevelUp, we knew this was the best choice to further grow our business."

In addition to exclusivity on the Grubhub marketplace, Just Salad has deepened its partnership to leverage Grubhub and LevelUp's POS/ordering integration capabilities. By working with the company's ordering engine and POS system, Par Brink, orders can be sent directly to a location's kitchen, which helps manage kitchen workload, keeps menus up-to-date across channels, and increases order accuracy. Additionally, Just Salad is now able to combine order data across their LevelUp-powered app and the Grubhub marketplace into one Enterprise Dashboard, allowing their team to analyze and dive into data surrounding performance and ordering trends.

"We're excited to work even more closely with such a beloved brand like Just Salad. Partnering on an exclusive basis is an incredible opportunity for both teams to truly optimize the process across orders," said Seth Priebatsch, head of enterprise restaurants at Grubhub. "By building out the most robust partnership possible, we're able to hyper-personalize guest experiences, increase Just Salad's understanding of guest behavior, and most importantly, deliver more healthy options to more hungry people." 

Online ordering and delivery from Just Salad via Grubhub and the Just Salad app is now available at select U.S. locations. 

Mighty Quinn's Inks Multi-Unit Deal

Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque signed a multi-unit development agreement with franchisees Michael and Paula Dolan to open four locations in and around Queens, New York, with the first to open this year in the neighborhood of Long Island City.


Husband and wife Michael and Paula Dolan have long felt an affinity for the unifying power of food: When she was only a few years old, Paula and her family moved from New York to Italy where she spent several years around the kitchen table sampling her mother’s and northern Italian grandfather’s delectable dishes. Michael’s years-long interest in food led to the purchase of a Big Green Egg charcoal grill a few years back to allow the father-of-two to perfect his smoked creations. As the two have worked in the financial services industry over the last two decades, their love of food has remained constant. The Dolans fell in love with Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque after the flagship store opened near their then-apartment in the East Village in 2013. Drawn in initially by the exceptional quality of Mighty Quinn’s all-natural, slow-smoked meats and sumptuous side dishes, the Dolans knew that franchising with Mighty Quinn’s was the perfect opportunity thanks to the clear expertise of the BBQ brand’s leadership team comprised of co-founder Micha Magid, co-founder Christos Gourmos and pitmaster and co-founder Hugh Mangum. Now, having signed on to ultimately open four Mighty Quinn’s locations, Michael will helm the operation. The Dolans are in the process of securing real estate for their first opening in Long Island City, Queens, NY, targeted for later this year.

“Long Island City is only one stop away from Grand Central in Manhattan, and it’s the fastest growing urban community in the country. So that’s a really exciting opportunity for us,” said Michael Dolan. “Long Island City is desperate for fast-casual dining, and taking a powerful brand from Manhattan that’s rich with Manhattan culture just makes complete sense, especially with the massive development that’s taking place–both residential and commercial–in the Long Island City area. Mighty Quinn’s will be very well-received there.”

Paula Dolan also spoke to the extensive real estate development sweeping the area around Long Island City, and how this positions the Queens neighborhood as a site of growing vibrancy and demand for high-quality eats.

“A lot of new corporate development is going up in Hudson Yards and western Manhattan, which is a quick subway ride from Long Island City. Many notable real estate developers have committed to building luxury residential in Long Island City, making it a desirable place to live,” Paula Dolan said. “It is an optimal location for a Mighty Quinn’s and we know its introduction will benefit the community.”

With the Dolans leading the charge in terms of franchise development, Mighty Quinn’s corporate team is looking to add 10 to 12 additional franchised locations across New York and New Jersey by 2020 and has its sights on partnering with qualified franchise candidates across the country.

“The Dolans demonstrate exceptional business acumen and a commitment to exceeding even our highest brand standards,” said Magid. “As we continue franchising, we look forward to working with additional franchise partners who uphold our total commitment to quality and to enhancing their communities through second-to-none dining.”

The startup costs for a Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque franchise range from $498,250 to $923,000. The franchise fee is $45,000. To learn more about franchising with Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, visit

Big Whiskey's Expands in Central Misssouri

Adding roots at the state capital is on the horizon for Springfield-based Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant and Bar. H2B Restaurant Group has signed-on for a single-store franchise location in Jefferson City, Missouri. 


“This is really exciting for us,” exclaims co-founder and senior vice-president of operations, Paul Sundy. “Making our mark in central Missouri has been a goal for quite a while. And hey, whiskey is bound to make politics a little more fun,” jokes Sundy.

Since opening in Springfield, Missouri, in July 2006, Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar has become many things to many people. It’s a sports bar for sports enthusiasts, a whiskey bar for whiskey devotees and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for a family night out. Big Whiskey’s Jefferson City is expected to be one of three franchise locations scheduled to open in 2019. The first of two Las Vegas franchise locations opened in February, just off Las Vegas Boulevard, and Alabamba franchise owners announced their site for the first Big Whiskey’s to be built with the new prototype design in the Birmingham area.

Locally owned and operated, Big Whiskey’s Jefferson City is tentatively scheduled to open later this summer at 627 W. McCarty Street in Jefferson City; on the east end of the former JCD building. Coined as the “River Walk” the renovated property will be home to new retail and office space in addition to the restaurant.

DQ in Charlotte

American Dairy Queen Corporation, franchisor of the  DQ® brand, announced its new DQ Grill & Chill® restaurant opening in Charlotte by May 1 at 3389 Highway 48 N. The restaurant is locally owned and operated by full-time farmer Caleb Story.

Striking the perfect balance between yesterday and today, the DQ Grill & Chill® flagship concept modernizes guests’ dining experience by offering soft-serve favorites such as cones, sundaes and the signature Blizzard® Treat. DQ® fans can also enjoy made-to-order lunch and dinner options including GrillBurgers™, Chicken Strip Baskets and delicious hot sandwiches. 

A welcoming environment for all, each DQ Grill & Chill® location features a modern, open-air grill, separate “Grill” and “Chill” sections, comfortable booths, large wooden tables, warm lighting and upbeat music.

“For me, the Dairy Queen® brand has always represented comfort and pure joy,” said Caleb Story. “I’m drawn to the brand because of the strong feelings it evokes, and I know my community in Charlotte will feel the same way. I’m thrilled to pursue this new venture and continue the tradition of serving great food and classic frozen treats to DQ fans for years to come.”

A local farmer in the 1,500-person city, Caleb has spent decades in the agriculture industry farming tobacco, corn, soybeans and wheat over a combined 850 acres. He’s been envisioning a career in the restaurant industry for 10-plus years and now is making his dream a reality.

“Looking deeper into the business opportunity, I was impressed by the innovative processes and systems the leadership team has in place to support my business goals,” added Story. “The training and support I’ve received thus far has exceeded my expectations, and I’m confident the ADQ team’s dedication will have a tremendous impact on my team’s success.”

ADQ has more than 7,000 locations worldwide and is initiating a plan to add more than 70 new restaurants in the United States in 2019.

Quickly growing family diner opens new restaurant in El Cajon, following Downey grand opening earlier this month

Black Bear Diner Grows

Black Bear Diner opened its newest diner in El Cajon, California. The opening marks the 64th California unit, and contributes to the company’s nationwide expansion, marking its 130th diner.


The El Cajon Black Bear Diner is located at 1025 Fletcher Pkwy. In addition to this opening, the Company has opened two other diners this month, with another one in Black Bear Diner’s home state of California and the other in Texas. The Downey, CA company-owned unit is located at7900 Florence Ave, while the Beaumont, Texas franchise-owned unit is located at 5405 Walden Rd.

“This month is very exciting for Black Bear Diner, with our continued growth in Texas as well as throughout our home state of California,” said Bruce Dean, CEO & Co-Founder of Black Bear Diner. “We are happy to serve a wide range of authentic and delicious meals and look forward to providing the highest-quality service and food to guests in El Cajon, Downey and Beaumont for years to come.”

The conpany also promoted Anita Adams to President and Chief Financial Officer and Steve Standlea to Chief Operating Officer. Both Adams and Standlea will report directly to Black Bear Diner CEO & Co-Founder Bruce Dean.

“Anita and Steve have been strong members of our leadership team and these promotions signify the importance of their leadership and vision for Black Bear Diner, as we continue to grow and expand,” said Dean. “Anita has played a strong role in growing our business beyond a traditional CFO role. She has become a trusted voice of advice and leadership to myself and others at Black Bear Diner.”

Dean continued, “Steve Standlea’s role as COO echoes his growing responsibility in our business over all aspects of operations. From training and construction to diner operations and administration, Steve plays a crucial role on our Black Bear Diner team.”

Adams joined Black Bear Diner in March 2017 as CFO. Standlea joined the company in September 2017 and most recently served as Senior Vice President Operations Support. As part of a strengthened C-suite leadership team, both individuals will focus on advising Dean and continuing to improve operations and drive sales growth.

Potbelly Sandwich Expands

 Potbelly Sandwich Shop (Potbelly) opened  a franchise location, in Rochester, Minnesota. It joins the 24 Potbelly locations in the state and marks the second in Rochester. Kim and Kirk Gordon, Sandy and John Rogness and Bill and Erin Nystrom, the owners of the new shop, have a combined 20 years of restaurant industry experience. Kim and Kirk Gordon also own the Potbelly Sandwich Shop on First Avenue SW in Rochester.  

“We’re thrilled to add another location in Rochester with other esteemed entrepreneurs,” said Kim Gordon. “It is an honor to be able to bring our tasty sandwiches, salads, shakes and cookies to even more members of the community,” added Kirk Gordon. 

“This team’s passion for what makes Potbelly so unique is truly inspiring,” said Jeff Welch, senior vice president of development for Potbelly Sandwich Shop. “We are so excited for Kim and Kirk to add another Potbelly to Rochester and with the addition of Sandy, John, Bill and Erin, we’re confident the shop will quickly become a local favorite.” 

Currently, there are more than 450 corporate and franchise Potbelly shops in the United States. The brand plans to continue franchise growth in 2019 and is seeking experienced multi-unit operators who have the drive to grow a great business opportunity. 

Craving Garbanzo in Creve Coeur

 Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh opened its first Creve Coeur location at 810 N. New Ballas Road. The new restaurant will kick off its grand opening festivities at 10:30 a.m. with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Creve Coeur Mayor Barry Glantz and the Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce.

St. Louis natives, GARBANZO CEO James Park and Director of Marketing Devin Handler will also be in attendance along with prominent St. Louis real estate mogul and chairman of the GARBANZO board, Michael Staenberg.

The new Creve Coeur restaurant marks the second GARBANZO location in the St. Louis area, second in Missouri and 31st system-wide. True to form, Creve Coeur’s GARBANZO will exude a simple, refined fresh aesthetic and will feature brand staples like Teatulia Organic Iced Tea in the beverage station and a bakery area where guests will be able to see their pitas being lovingly kneaded, placed in the oven and puffed to perfection right before their eyes. All in a comfortable casual environment that welcomes guests to find out how delicious nutritious can be.

“St. Louis is a killer market with an incredible food scene that is often overlooked,” Park said. “From Danny Meyer and Shake Shack to world famous BBQ, a lot has originated in St. Louis and we are thrilled to join the charge. The new restaurant is in the perfect location, less than a mile east of Highway 270, we’ve hired a great team and we are looking forward to celebrating with everyone next week!”

“I’m extremely proud to bring GARBANZO’s delicious and nutritious recipes to my hometown and specifically West County,” Handler said. “We are thankful to GARBANZO fans in Clayton that welcomed our first local restaurant with open arms, enabling our expansion into Creve Coeur. Our cuisine is the kind of food that you can feed your kids without worries about preservatives, MSG or trans fats, and it caters to virtually every diet – from vegan and vegetarian to keto and meat eaters. I have no doubt that the Creve Coeur community will love GARBANZO’s scratch-made food.”

Gloria Jean's Signs Development Deal

Gloria Jean’s Coffees – U.S.A. signed a multi-unit development agreement with a new franchise partner, Raed Naser. The agreement will bring at least seven new locations to the Northwest Indiana region and parts of Southern Chicago, beginning with a drive-thru in Crown Point, Indiana slated to open in early June. 


This agreement builds upon Gloria Jean’s Midwest presence where there is a growing demand for the unique coffee beverages and high-quality flavored beans the brand is known for. The largest mall-based retailer of specialty coffee in the world, Gloria Jean’s is reinvigorating its growth strategy by exploring a wider scope of real estate opportunities and pursuing middle America markets primed for the unique specialty coffee concept.

“With a refreshed brand image and four decades of experience in the specialty coffee industry, Gloria Jean’s is in growth mode and uniquely positioned to own a larger share of the segment, especially in rising suburban markets like Northwest Indiana and Southern Chicago,” said Laina Sullivan, Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ Director of Franchise Development. “We’re thrilled to welcome passionate franchise partners like Raed to the Gloria Jean’s family during this exciting brand evolution. As we pursue strategic growth outside of malls and move into regions where customer demand for exceptional specialty coffee is high, we see tremendous opportunity to introduce Gloria Jean’s to new guests around the country.”

“When searching for the perfect coffee concept to grow my franchise portfolio, Gloria Jean’s stood out in many ways including providing excellent franchise support, ongoing product innovation and creative consumer marketing,” said Naser. “The entire executive team was very hands-on during my onboarding process and worked closely with me to develop a plan that was tailored to my business goals. I’m confident that Gloria Jean’s and its unique products will do very well in Northwest Indiana where high-quality coffee experiences are lacking; and I’m especially excited to open our drive-thru location in early June.”

Serving gourmet coffee in the United States since 1979, there are currently 58 locations in operation with several scheduled to open by year’s end. Gloria Jean’s sources 100 percent of its coffees directly from exotic locations across the globe, with every bean roasted in its Southern California headquarters which includes a test kitchen for ongoing R&D and a complete roasting and processing facility managed by the company’s fulltime master roaster. The company is currently awarding area development agreements to passionate franchisees interested in growing with an established coffee concept that continues to resonate with today’s consumers. Click here to learn more about Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ franchise opportunities and what makes the brand a standout concept in the competitive specialty coffee segment.